Ultimate file synchronization between multiple computers

My Problem

Here is the problem, I want to synchronize files between:

  1. Home Desktop (Vista)
  2. Home Media Center PC (Vista)
  3. Laptop (Vista)
  4. Mac Mini (OS X)

Some folders I want synced between all computers like My Pictures. Other Folders, I want synced between some machines and have access to from other machines. For example I want my music collection to be the same between my media center and desktop but want to have access to it from my laptop.

I was using FolderShare and was very happy with it but quickly reached its limits of 10 folders and 10k files. I tried BeInSync which looked very good but again it only has 3 folders in the free version and I didn’t want to pay for it (personally, file sync should be built into the OS).

After a long and painful search, I finally found the perfect software PowerFolder. It’s free, open source, works on Mac, Windows and Linux. The only problem is that it requires Java (which I hate) and the UI is blast from the 90s. But it works and works well… So far, I have synced a few folders and things are going well… I haven’t installed on the mac yet; but will report back once I do.


The software was straight forward and easy to use. I didn’t really read any of the help documentation other than to read up on the different types of synchronization methods which were pretty well named in the first place.

Sync a Folder

To sync a folder, you simply:

  1. Right click on it and select Add to PowerFolder
  2. That will open the create new folder window
  3. Click Ok to get the Send Invitation window
  4. My HP laptop was online so it showed up. I selected it and clicked Next.
  5. On my notebook I got a join folder prompt
  6. I chose my sync method and clicked Ok and that was it both computers are now sync.

Things I haven’t tested yet:

  1. Connecting over the Internet (only over LAN)
  2. Syncing over the Internet
  3. Accepting an invitation over the Internet
  4. Synchronization on the Mac
  5. File sharing with others


Has anyone tried this on Linux?